Cases of dengue fever have more than doubled in the first three months of 2018 if compared to the same period last year, a report released over the weekend has shown.
Huy Rekol, director of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM), estimated that during the first 14 weeks of this year there have been 1,200 cases of dengue fever, a jump from the 498 cases in the first three months of 2017.
“The patients are between five and 14-years-old,” Mr Rekol said.
Earlier this month, CNM introduced measures to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever this year.
The measures include getting rid of mosquito larvae and ensuring that there is no idle water in cans, old tires, jars and other items that could potentially become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Dr Rekol said that homes must have enough light so mosquitoes are easily spotted and asked that homeowners cooperate with Health Ministry officials to prevent an outbreak.
The last measure to prevent dengue fever is to quickly find a nearby health centre or hospital if anyone is sick with a temperature above 39 degrees Celsius, a face that turns red, a headache, muscle aches or red spots on the body.
Health Ministry officials have also issued warnings to provincial health departments instructing them to educate the public to take precautionary steps.
Dr Rekol said outbreaks happen every four to five years. The Health Ministry warned in February that dengue fever cases could spike this year after a fall in cases in 2017.
The CNM has prepared more than 350 tonnes of the larvicide BTI and more than 5,690 litres of insecticide throughout the country.
Ly Sovann, spokesman for the Health Ministry, said earlier this month that dengue fever was a concern this year and called for people to be careful and pay attention to avoid getting the virus. He said Cambodia’s last outbreak was in 2012.
There was no outbreak in 2016 and 2017 because the CNM worked hard to control it, Dr Sovann noted.
According to an annual report by CNM, there were 6,372 cases of dengue fever in 2017. In 2016, there were 12,843 cases, with 18 deaths.
The last outbreak was in 2012 when there were up to 40,000 cases, resulting in 160 deaths.